L-R: Registrar General, Mercy K. Kainobwisho, Board Chair, Amb. Francis K. Butagira in a group picture with Board Members & Staff after the Launch of the Trademark Filing System.
The Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) as part of their All- digital, All-online strategy has today launched an Intellectual Property (IP) Online Filing (Front Office) System that is designed to enable the public file for IP protection remotely over the internet. The tool is used for receiving Intellectual property applications for trademarks. The system will enable IP rights holders with access to the internet to be able to file their applications with URSB from the comfort of their homes.
The futuristic system is a result of collaboration between URSB and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EU-IPO) through the Africa Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation Project (AfrIPI) who have been training URSB staff in the use of ICT tools developed and used by offices in the European Union. Accordingly, URSB signed an agreement with the EU-IPO on 4th September 2020 and has to date acquired 3 of the tools i.e. Front Office, TM-class and Design-class for online filing, classification of Trademarks, and classification of Designs respectively.
Speaking at the launch, the Board Chair Ambassador Francis K. Butagira said the system will simplify processes for IP applications while enabling faster filing processes since formality checks and data capture is done automatically by the system, reducing workload for the officers at URSB. ‘I urge our stakeholders especially the clients to seize the opportunity and file trademark applications using the Front Office tool’ Butagira said.
The Registrar General Mercy K. Kainobwisho on her part said the system is one of the many interventions of URSB to ease doing of business in Uganda and to improve the experience of clients in filing IP applications. She added ‘The system integrates much-needed features such as classification of goods and services, which give applicants a wide variety of acceptable terms to use in their trademark applications. By December 2021, additional services will be included such as design application, trademark renewal, oppositions and other post grants. I thank the EU-IPO & AfrIPI for the support’.
The Front Office tool is ready for use and accessible over the internet and through the URSB website.
The Front Office e-filing system compliments part of URSB’s Strategic Plan III that aims at simplifying processes to enable faster, easier services uptake for clients while plugging into the post-COVID 19 ‘new normal’ mode of operation that dictates lesser physical engagements in seeking services. The system is also part of the EU-IPO office strategy to equip partners with modern IT tools that are co-created by a community of national experts, end users and international partners.